My dog is jealous of my partner – what to do??

My dog is jealous of my partner - what to do??

New partner – new luck! At least that’s how it should be when you enter into a new partnership heavily in love. The only question is whether your dog sees this as well. If your dog got along very well (alone) with you and your habits for a long time, it does not mean that he will be thrilled when the dearest new partner breaks the rituals and shares the couch together with you .

Is there jealousy in the dog?

The topic of jealousy is an exciting field in the dog scene and every dog owner will wonder in between times if his dog can be jealous. We humans are well aware of fever. It’s something that most people don’t want to be, but there are always situations in life where you catch yourself being jealous. The feeling may vary in intensity depending on what is at stake. Behind this is actually a laudable need, namely to protect what is dear and valuable to you: often your own partner. So it is understandable why this behavior can be so intense. At the same time you realize that this often (felt) rather annoying trait serves a good purpose. But, what about our dog?! Also scientists research gladly around this topic. After all, it would not be the first time that dog and human have analogies. The chances are not bad, after all, dogs can form a bond with us humans and we with them, as well as dogs have cognitive abilities. And by several studies it was confirmed that dogs can experience the feeling of jealousy.

When do dogs get jealous?

You become jealous when something that is (emotionally) important to you is taken away from you. These can be objects, but also essential things like the social partner. Also someone else deals with it. This does not make it much easier for the dog. Consequently, one also likes to speak of a mixture of fear of loss and an uneasy feeling towards a third person.

What can we do if our dog is jealous of our new partner??

First of all you should notice if your dog is jealous. You can recognize this for example by increased signs of stress when your new partner is near, as well as a pushing in between, for example when you hold your partner in your arms. There are dogs that nip, bark or snap when your partner gets too close. There should not be – for all – excessive stress. The nice thing is that you can regulate a lot yourself. As described above, your dog is worried that you will be taken away from him (completely or temporarily) and that something will change between you.

Give your dog the feeling that you are still his rock and also the relationship between you and him should not actually change. So that the dog can understand this, he must come the proof that you are further for him there, rituals should remain. This gives security. At the same time you should not sit between the chairs, but also naturally be able to experience the new partnership. The new partner should finally be an enrichment for both of you. Reflect this in your thoughts and actions. Furthermore you should see that you offer your dog orientation in all situations of life. He wants security. If you can give him this through structure and clarity, you will notice that your dog becomes more relaxed on his own. If you become his rock, there is no reason for him to doubt your relationship, no matter how your family grows. Your dog knows you very well, he will notice when you are playing to him. So, if you think too long and too intensively about whether the relationship is going well, how you can make the dog and the partner happy, etc., you should first notice whether your dog is in a bad relationship with you. your dog will not feel safe. Try to find a healthy balance. If you want to have togetherness with your partner, you have the right to do so.

If it comes times completely thickness – this happens mostly on the days, where everything goes wrong, then provide for a friendly spatial separation, so that it can not come to a conflict and nothing escalates. At the same time you don’t have to manage anything on a bad day. Teach your dog to lie down on a blanket when given a friendly signal. You can put these at a distance from you/your partner. The dog will relax on it, the partner should not want to make contact with the dog and everyone enjoys their space, but all can be integrated. This is a grateful exercise when you yourself do not have your head free at the moment and also do not want any troubleshooting.

Dedicate additional small time units to your dog just for the two of you. He will also enjoy this. If you find that you would like to have professional help, ask a dog trainer to come and look at the domestic structures and processes. Then it usually goes a little faster – especially if you have the feeling to think too cerebral. I wish you much success and fun with your dog.


Kristina Ziemer-Falke is a certified dog trainer and behavior consultant by the Veterinary Chamber of Schleswig-Holstein and the Messerli Research Institute of the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna. She also has many additional qualifications and specializations and is on the examination board of the Lower Saxony Chamber of Veterinary Surgeons for dog trainer certifications.
With her husband Jorg Ziemer she founded the training center Ziemer& Falke, where they have been training dog trainers all over Germany for many years with a lot of heart, passion and competence, and offer many continuing education programs. Many people also know Kristina as a successful author of specialist books for dog trainers and dog owners, as well as from articles in popular dog magazines. As a lecturer, Kristina Ziemer-Falke is in great demand and can be found throughout Germany at seminars and lectures on topics related to dogs.

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